ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 14: Brian Elliott #1 of the St. Louis Blues warms up before Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on April 14, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)

Brian Elliott was dealing with ear infection during playoffs


St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and head coach Ken Hitchcock emphasized the fact that they didn’t want to discuss injuries after being swept by the Los Angeles Kings because they told Jeremy Rutherford that it would seem like making excuses. Still, if you subscribe to the reasonable theory that “everyone is injured” during the playoffs, then it’s merely a fascinating exercise, so we’ll make note of developments as they come in.

The first interesting bit is that Jaroslav Halak wasn’t the only prominent Blues netminder who wasn’t 100 percent in the playoffs. Rutherford reports that Brian Elliott was dealing with an ear infection during the semifinals.

It’s not as easy to assess how an ear infection might have affected Elliott, but perhaps it had some impact on his balance (they can in some cases). That makes for an unusual ailment, yet far from the strangest thing a player’s dealt with in the playoffs (Backes specifically denied issues with his appendix). One might assume that flying wasn’t exactly a “treat” either. Fighting through an ear infection isn’t on the same scale as many of the other injuries – not pains – that have made some hockey players’ toughness almost legendary, but it makes you wonder how “off” he might have been.

Beyond those questions, one must ask: does that make the question of giving Jake Allen a try any more reasonable?

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?